When people hear Hong Kong they likely think of multi-billion dollar deals being looped in skyscraper boardrooms. This world class city, and financial hub of Asia, has much more to offer thrill seekers interested in urban adventurers – restaurants, nightlife, casinos, local markets, and easily accessible hikes are a handful of rewarding activities.
Hong Kong is full of people from different walks of life creating a rich cultural experience regardless of what you decide to do during your trip. It caters to all types of travelers, from budget-friendly to living lavishly. With plenty of top luxury hotels, Hong Kong is full of 4 and 5 star accommodations.
Things To Do in One Day in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of Asia’s most vibrant, progressive cities. With 7.3 million residents, along with its ability to run its own country, Hong Kong is one unique international city. It caters perfectly to its myriad of residents and tourists of every class and background. It’s a city for anyone’s bucket list.
Spend one amazing day in Hong Kong and you’ll discover thousands of things to do and reasons you should return. It offers the best of many worlds, including a gigantic concrete jungle in its vast downtown, and breathtaking nature just outside of the city. If you only have 24 hours in HK, here some things you’ll love.
Memorable Day Hikes in Hong Kong
Hiking Dragon’s Back
- Distance: 8.5 km
- Time: Roughly 4 hours
- Area: Southern District
- Start: Shek O Road
- End: Tai Long Wan
- Level: Difficult
How to get there: Walk from MTR Shau Kei Wan Station Exit A to Shau Kei Wan Bus Terminus. Take bus 9 or the minibus with the sign ‘Shek O’ next to the bus terminus. Alight at To Tei Wan, Shek O Road.
From the end point: Take the minibus or a taxi to Shau Kei Wan. From here, public transport is available to other destinations
Dragon’s Back is one of the most popular hikes for escaping the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong. The hike offers a number of breathtaking vantage points from the Shek O Peak to the east to the scenic Dragon’s Back to the west. Expect to encounter paragliders along the way. The end point of Tai Long Wan, which translates to ‘Big Wave Bay’, rewards you with a beautiful beach at the end of your journey.
Hiking Sok Kwu Wan to Yung Shue Wan
- Distance: 7.0 km
- Time: Roughly 4 hours
- Area: Island District
- Start: Sok Kwu Wan
- End: Yung Shue Wan Main St.
- Level: Moderate
To the starting point: Take a 30-minute ferry ride from Central Pier 4 (MTR Hong Kong Station Exit E1, walk through ifc mall and the footbridge) to Sok Kwu Wan.
From the end point: Take a ferry from Yung Shue Wan pier to Central or Aberdeen. From here, public transport is available to other destinations.
Before the hike begins, treat yourself to some tasty seafood at one of the many restaurants you’ll encounter in Sok Kwu Wan. After powering up you will embark on a hike that offers a one and a half century old temple, a hilltop pavilion, and a beautiful beach with crystal clear waters at Hung Shing Yeh Beach. Don’t forget to pack a swim suit.
Once you dry off and continue the hike, you will find yourself ending in Yung Shue Wan where bars, cafes, and restaurant offer plenty of opportunity to grab another bite to eat or take in a few cocktails and reflect upon the hike.
Hiking Lantau Peak
Lantau Peak is one of the best places to catch the sunrise in Hong Kong. If you find yourself in Hong Kong during the winter months of December to Febrauary it’s the optimal time to capture the breathtaking view on camera so try to find time. In order to reach the second highest summit in Hong Kong prior to the sun coming up you will need to embark on this two hour journey from the base of the trial by 4am.
How to get there: MTR Tung Chung Station, Exit B. At Tung Chung Ngong Ping Cable Car terminal take a 25-minute cable car ride to the Ngong Ping terminal. Then follow the signs and walk along the Lantau Trail for approximately 25 minutes.
MTR Tung Chung Station Exit B. From the bus terminus next to the MTR station, take bus 23 (the journey takes about 50 minutes). Follow the signs and walk along the Lantau Trail for about 25 minutes.
Iconic Hong Kong Restaurants
There are many local worthwhile dining options in Hong Kong. Here is a list of Michelin Three Star restaurants worth a special journey if you have time to make reservations ahead of your trip.
Dining at 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana
Best Italian Chef in Asia & Only Three Michelin Star Italian restaurant outside of Italy. Located in Central.
- Address: Shop 202, 2/F, Alexandra House, 16-20 Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong Island
- Phone: +852 25378859
- Website: ottoemezzobombana.com
Dining at Bo Innovation
Chef Alvin has put his modern take on centuries old Chinese food. Located in Wan Chai.
- Address: Shop 8, 1/F, J Residence, 60 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong Island
- Phone: +852 28508371
- Website: boinnovation.com
Dining at L’ Atelier de Joel Robuchon
French restaurant that serves world class Wagyu Beef Sirloin. Located in Central.
- Address: Shop 401, 4/F, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong Island
- Phone: +852 21669000
- Website: robuchon.hk
Dining at Lung King Heen
Contemporary Cantonese cuisine with locally sourced fresh ingredients. You will take in this world class dinner whilst overlooking Hong Kong’s skyline and harbor lights from the Four Seasons Hotel. Located in Central.
- Address: Podium 4, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong Island
- Phone: +852 31968880
- Website: fourseasons.com/…
Dining at Sushi Shikon
A sushi experience reminiscent of the Ginza District of Tokyo, Japan with fresh ingredients flown in daily from the Tsukiji market. Located in Sheung Wan.
- Address: The Mercer, 29 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Island
- Phone: +852 26436800
- Website: sushi-shikon.com
Dining at T’ang Court
Authentic Cantonese compliments of Executive Chef Kwong Wai Keung aimed to reflect the timleness of the Tang Dynasty. Located in Tsim Sha Tsui.
- Address: 1/F and 2/F, The Langham Hong Kong, 8 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
- Phone: +852 21327898
- Website: langhamhotels.com/…
Michelin Two Star Restaurants
- Sun Tung Lok Chinese Cuisine
- Tenku Ryu Gin
- Yan Toh Heen
- Shang Palace
- Ta Vie
- Tin Lung Heen
If Michelin restaurants are not what you seek – make a memory and give the largest floating restaurant in Asia, Jumbo Kingdom, a try. Located at the Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter, this renowned tourist attraction and fine-dining establishment has played host to royalty, international dignitaries, movie stars, and everyday travelers. Additionally, you can find less expensive dining experiences in the various markets Hong Kong has to offer.
Exciting Street Markets in Hong Kong
Exploring Temple Street Night Market
The Temple Street Night Market gets going around 7pm offering tourists and locals the ability to shop and snack simultaneously amongst the streets of Kowloon. It is located one block west from Jordan MTR Station – Exit A. You will thrive in this environment if you enjoy bargaining for things you buy.
However, given this market is high profile you will pay a premium for goods and food compared to other places. Nonetheless, this experience is worthwhile if you like to take home small souvenirs for friends and family. Things typically wind down by midnight.
Exploring Stanley Market
Plan on hitting the Stanley Market during morning hours if you visit in summer months. Here you will find a wide variety of things from silk and linen fabrics, artwork from Hong Kong artists, toys, electronics, and random knickknacks. Be polite when haggling with vendors. You will find a number of appealing restaurants along the water filled with locals and tourists dining on local cuisine.
The market opens at 9am and closes at 6pm. Chai Wan station via Exit C to green minibus 16M will get you to the market.
Exploring Sai Kung Seafood Market
The Sai Kung Seafood Market, located on the eastern part of the New Territories, made the list for the food enthusiasts out there. It was featured on Travel Channel’s Bizarre Eats in 2011. If you enjoy fresh fish caught by local fishermen served right off the boat – this is a sight to see.
Prepare to lean over the rail as boats come to the pier with their catch of the day. Once you reached an agreement with the fisherman they send their fish up to you on the pier with long poles. Plan on making a day out of this trip as it is located approximately 45 minutes from Tsim Sha Tsui.
Exploring Goldfish Market – Honorable Mention
The Goldfish Market, located in the Mangkok distric of Kowloon, is a great opportunity to see all kinds of different fish in an authentic street setting. Things start open around 10am and will close down at 10pm. It is recommended to visit in the evenings as the lights have a aesthetically pleasing effect on the display tanks holding the fish.
Vendors typically specialize in selling a specific kind of fish – as a tourist you will not being traveling with a fish like Bill Murray in What About Bob, but don’t let that turn you away from making a visit.
Vibrant Nightlife in Hong Kong
The nightlife in Hong Kong can cater to all walks of life. You can take in a dirty Grey Goose Martini over some live Jazz music at the Four Seasons or you can venture over to Lan Kwai Fong for a more robust party scene with a higher energy level. Once you get to Lan Kwai Fong in the Central district, you will find a winding street lined with water holes and party goers. CÉ LA VI is one of the more popular rooftop bars in LKF.
You can stumble upon a dice game or up to a rooftop bar with a view of the beautiful Hong Kong skyline.
If you are looking to get the party started with some day drinking, a great place to kick things off is at The Envoy on the rooftop of The Pottinger Hotel. This is a place to stop for cocktail enthusiasts who appreciate creative drinks prepared by seasoned mixologists.
The aforementioned activities are geared toward travelers without a long stay in Hong Kong that want to optimize their time in town. You can take on a hike or market adventure then move on to a mouth watering dinner and cocktails in Lan Kwai Fong. We will be elaborating on these activities in the near future.
Read our other Chinese travel articles so you can make the most of your trip in China. It’s a big country!